Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Justice Department bowed to tobacco industry-led legal challenges against their graphic anti-smoking ad campaign depicting the visceral consequences of tobacco-fueled chronic illness. That was a major blow to the public health initiatives included in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 — landmark tobacco regulation legislation signed by President Obama at the beginning of his first term.
But the federal government is not giving up on its efforts to discourage smoking. This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a series of new videos and graphics that highlight the negative effects of tobacco use on both smokers and their loved ones:
A federal appellate court ruled that the FDA’s advertisements — which cigarette manufacturers would have been mandated to include on their product labels — did not necessarily meet standards of factual scrutiny. Since the CDC’s campaign is not associated with product advertising, it won’t encounter such hurdles. Although U.S. smoking rates have plummeted in the aggregate, low-income Americans still smoke at relatively high rates, despite being unable to afford the habit’s associated health care costs.